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Name: PORTAL, Gerald Herbert KCMG, CB, Sir

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Birth Date: 13 Mar 1858 Laverstoke

Death Date: 25 Jan 1894 London, typhoid

Nationality: British

First Date: 1891

Last Date: 1893

Profession: Consul General, Zanzibar & in 1893 became Commissioner, Uganda Protectorate. Memorial at Lugard's Fort, Kampala reads: 'The British Flag was first unfurled on this spot by Sir Gerald Portal, KCMG, CB'

Area: Zanzibar, Uganda

Married: 1890 Lady Alice Josephine 'Joey' Bertie b. 2 Mar 1865, d. 7 May 1950 (2nd dau of 7th Earl of Abingdon) (she m. in 1897 Robert Reyntiens)

Children: None

Author: 'The British Mission to Uganda in 1893' 1894

Book Reference: Gillett, Permanent Way, Moyse, Fitzgerald, Tucker, EAHB 1905, North, Burke, Eton, EA Diary 1903, EAHB 1904, Chandler

School: Eton

General Information:

Permanent Way - 'Sir Gerald Portal was only 35 years of age when he was called upon to undertake a mission which virtually decided that the future of Kenya and Uganda be within the British Empire. Soon after joining the Diplomatic Service he was posted to Egypt, where he came under the influence of Lord Cromer, who formed a very high opinion of his abilities. After Portal's tragic death in the January of 1894, Lord Cromer wrote that he had come to regard him as the probable successor to his own high office. In the years 1887-8 Portal had undertaken a difficult, dangerous and arduous mission to Abyssinia for the purpose of bringing about a 'modus vivendi' between the Italian and Ethiopian Governments after the massacre at Dogala. He was rewarded by appointment as a Companion of the Bath. In 1889 he was temporarily in charge of the Agency at Zanzibar and, two years later, he succeeded Sir Charles Euan Smith as Her Majesty's Agent and Consul-General. ....... (sent to Uganda by Lord Rosebery)  
Moyse - Sir Gerald Portal left for the coast after only 10 weeks in Buganda. Before departing he appointed MacDonald Acting Commissioner
North - Temp. in charge of British Consular Agency Zanzibar 1889; Consul-General in Zanzibar; Appt. Commissioner of Uganda 30/11/1892; wife and maid dep. Zanzibar for Suez 21/12/1892; declared Uganda Prot. & took over from Capt. W.H. Williams at Mengo 1/4/1893;
Burke - attd Agency and Consulate Gen Egypt; after bombardment of Alexandria 1882 was awarded medal with clasp and bronze star; Sec to Br Agency Cairo 1885-91, Actg Agent and Consul gen Egypt 1886-88 and 1890, special mission to King John of Abyssinia 1887 (Offr St Maurice and St Lazarus Italy, Abyssinian Order Solomon), Actg Consul-Gen Zanzibar (also Commissioner there) and for German E Africa 1891-94
Mills Railway - Portal established a settlement between the French and British missionaries in Uganda, and on 29 May 1893, signed a treaty with Kabaka Mwanga of Buganda. On 1 April 1893 Portal hauled down the flag of the British East Africa Company at Mengo and hoisted the Union Jack.
Portal returned to Britain and recommended the declaration of Uganda as a protectorate. He died from typhoid fever in London on 25 January 1894. Six months later, on 18 June 1894, Uganda was declared a British Protectorate.
The town of Fort Portal, his base in western Uganda, is named after him.

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